Plano’s mayor joined 14 of his Texas counterparts in calling on Congress to provide “broad fiscal assistance” to state and local governments.
Harry LaRosiliere was one of several North Texas mayors to sign the May 8 joint statement calling for aid. Others included Betsy Price of Fort Worth, Eric Johnson of Dallas and Rick Stopfer of Irving.
“Despite strong rainy day funds, high bond ratings and lean staff to resident ratios, Texas cities are far from immune from the fiscal pain inflicted by this virus,” the statement read. “Through no fault of our own, we are facing dramatic shortfalls in revenue which continue to negatively affect city budgets.”
Although the mayors called for broad federal assistance for municipalities, not all were asking for funding for themselves.
“[Plano’s] position: we are not pushing for more funds, as much as asking for clarification, flexibility and guidelines regarding the funding already approved,” city spokesperson Steve Stoler said in an email.
Price said flexibility to distribute federal funding according to each city’s needs is critical.
“While Fort Worth is fortunate to be receiving an allocation from the Coronavirus Relief Fund, I feel it is critical that we support all cities during this crisis,” Price said in a statement.
The joint statement from mayors warned that budget cuts could affect a broad range of city services, possibly including building inspectors, public safety personnel, infrastructure projects or quality-of-life programs such as parks, libraries and museums.
“Absent such assistance, our balanced budget requirements set by state law will force cities to potentially reduce staff or cut important services necessary to reopening our economy,” the statement read.
Ian Pribanic contributed to this report.
Plano mayor joins officials in 14 other Texas cities calling for financial assistance for local governments
Plano Mayor Harry LaRosiliere, seen here addressing the Plano Chamber of Commerce Feb. 6, joined 14 other Texas mayors calling for federal assistance to local governments. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)